05/14/2015 07:19 EDT | Updated 05/14/2016 05:59 EDT

You Can Be Healthy and Never Go to a Gym

What we see on magazine covers, the workouts that invade our T.V.'s and the push for us to "lose weight and get a six pack," and the diets that confuse and overwhelm us are NOT what it takes to simply be healthy.

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Fitness and creating a sexy body, and health and managing disease are two entirely different things.

What we see on magazine covers, the workouts that invade our T.V.'s and the push for us to "lose weight and get a six pack," and the diets that confuse and overwhelm us are NOT what it takes to simply be healthy. Right now, take a minute and make a decision. Do you want a six pack, do you want to be a marathon runner, or do you want to be pro-athlete? If you answered "no" to those questions, I've got great news for you.

You can still be really, really healthy. In fact, you can be healthy and never go to a gym. You just have to move.

I've got three ideas for you, things to buy and things that are free that can help make sure you are living healthy.

Idea #1

You need a monitoring and journaling system. If the gym isn't something you think about daily, and if you don't measure out your food because it's just not that important to you, I'd suggest you get something to remind you to just move and something to monitor calories. That same reminder should also store your data, chart it, and give you something to sit down with your doctor and health professional to discuss. We have the technology in this world, let's use it to be healthy!

If it's something fun and trendy, it's more likely to work. Apple launched their new watch recently. It's got health and wellness reminders on lock. Plain and simple, we sit too much. How much movement and activity we need varies person to person. Rather than worrying about weight, let's worry on the practical numbers. Resting heart rate, blood pressure and how many steps you take in a day. Find something that can track that for you. When you see what cutting edge technology can track, your mind will be blown away. Mine was -- Apple has thought of everything. That will help you sort out health v.s. fitness fads. Take a look and tell me that this won't help you be healthy.

Idea #2

So you have a monitoring device, now how about we up the education side of things? Reading this blog is a great start, but what else can you do? You need trusted info, right? Let me direct your attention to a few places.

I'm in Manitoba, and the best resource I've found here for explaining and simplifying things is the Diabetes Association. There is A LOT of talk around carbs and sugar in the "negative" dieting world. So much so that I'm confused some days. I'm also further confused by the fact that people are absolutely sure that their wrong statements are right, and so they completely cross some delicious foods off the list. It's true that if you want to be a 3 per cent or less body builder, you need to remove almost all your carbs. If you want to be healthy, cutting carbs is not a fact. However, understanding what foods produce insulin responses and effect blood sugar is important.

So again, I'll say it: the diabetes association knows the "healthy" way to eat carbs. Not the body building for a six-pack way. When I contacted my local office, they directed me to an outstanding webinar series, and guess what, it's FREE!

Please consult experts when it comes to health, not hot people from magazine covers. We have it mixed up, and frankly, I'm getting frustrated. More and more we are getting unhealthy and I truly believe most of us have given up. We see a fat-free body, crazy diets and workouts as health. It's not. If you want a six-pack, talk to someone with one. They can help you. As for me, I'll have my cholesterol in check, my heart rate health, blood pressure under control, blood sugars regulated, and I will be eating cake and I'll be exploring the world more than spending time in the gym (which I do, one hour a day).

Idea #3

Set up a dream list of places to go outdoors and travel to. This is one of my biggest passions. I took a trip to Thailand over a year ago with Contiki Tours, and since then I can't even begin to describe to people what a change real travel makes. The kind of trip where you see a different culture, experience shocks to the senses, and have stories to tell. I've done the all-inclusive. You come home and tell friends about the weather, the beach and the food. When I came back from Thailand, I had stories to tell. I climbed mountains, swam in the ocean, explored temples. Now, I'm dreaming of places like Peru, Australia, and Galapagos Islands. Places where I'll need someone to guide me, and teach me about other cultures.

Health is about expanding your mind, challenging your body and being alive. We made it about how we look and it's breaking my heart to see disease take over. Not just obesity related, but mental disorders from the obsession with looking a certain way.

My mission with my blog and website One Fit City is to bring health minded professionals together with real people looking for help to be full of health and energy. I'll be doing a kickstarter coming up soon. The goal is to raise funds for preservation of Canadian Parks and Wilderness, as well as get more inspirational work out to the masses. We need the conversation to change dramatically.

Health is simply moving and eating real food. No quick fixes and no secrets. I can't sell you anything to make you healthy, it is all out there in nature.


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